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All photos © Bjørn Jørgensen


In the winter from January to April life is all about fish in the Lofoten islands. This is when Lofotfisket (the Lofoten fishery)
takes place, when the arctic cod comes from the Barents sea to spawn here.
This fishery has taken place for centuries, and thousands of people are involved both at sea and on land.
Most of the fish is hung on hjell (racks or flakes made of wood) for natural drying to become tørrfisk (stockfish). Drying is a brilliant way of
conserving fish, and after it has soaked in water for a while it is a delicacy that can be used for several dishes.
Most of the stockfish is exported to Europe, especially Italy, Portugal and Croatia.

Here a small boat is ready to deliver the fish


Lifting the fish from the boat on the quay


Inside the fish processing plant the cod is gutted

Then the fish is sorted by weight and size

Guts and intestines from cod

Fish heads in blood-stained water


The fish is hung on racks or flakes to let the sun and wind dry the fish the natural way. This can take  a few months.
Millions of fish are hanging on fishracks like these all over Lofoten, all hung up by hand.

Even the heads of the cod are being dried. This is from Svolvær, the largest city in Lofoten.

These cod heads are dry and ready


Fish tails up in the air


Sorting stockfish (dried cod) is almost an art form, and few people in Norway are really good at it.
The fish is sorted in three main qualities, called prima, sekunda and Afrika. Within these groups the fish is sorted in up to 30 qualities,
based on several criterias. The person responsible for the sorting of the fish is called a tørrfiskvraker (stockfish grader). He or she
mostly relies on the eyes and nose when sorting the fish.


The settlement Uttakleiv in beautiful blue winter light


Seaweed and snow on a beach

                                      Rural petrol station                                                                                     Seafoam on the shore at Uttakleiv